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Innovation Insights by Stephen Shapiro

Anyone who follows this blog knows that the New Year is my favorite time for reflecting on the past and creating the future.

If you have not read my article on “Making Resolutions That Work,” please do so.  Or, if you prefer, you can read the variant of this article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal exactly one year ago today by clicking on the image.

The general premise is that instead of setting resolutions that are specific goals (e.g., lose 10 pounds), you want to create themes that help guide you and your decision making throughout the year.

After spending a week of reflection, I have settled upon three themes:

  • More Money, Less Work, Greater Impact – This is my business theme.  In particular, I expect to create passive income revenue streams (i.e., make money in my sleep) through repurposing my content and levering channel partners.  By doing this, I can then focus my energies on activities that will have the greatest impact on business and society.
  • Rituals – I usually joke that I lack discipline, so I considered that as my theme.  But “discipline” sounds so harsh and not something that inspires me.  Then it hit me.  While on vacation recently I had some rituals (e.g., reading an inspirational passage upon waking or drinking tea before going to sleep) that I loved.  I realized I could treat “the things I need to do” as rituals.  If I think of writing, calling clients, managing the books, and other tasks as rituals, maybe they will inspire me more.
  • Perfect – This theme may seem a bit odd.  But when on vacation (reflecting on my theme for the year), I used the word “perfect” at least 100 times to describe the trip.  I realized that perfect is a state of mind.  When you declare things to be perfect, they are perfect.  How you see things gives you the reality.  Therefore, by declaration, 2012 will be “perfect.”

These themes get me excited about the New Year.  They also make activities that might have seemed tedious, more enjoyable (in particular the ritual theme).

What are your themes for 2012?

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